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The Upcoming Rachel Corrie Trial: Go After Her Real Killers

An open letter to Rachel Corrie's parents from an Israeli parent. (Related: And don't miss Ronald Radosh: A Note to Israel: Try Rachel Corrie’s Accusers.)

by
Lenny Ben-David

Bio

March 9, 2010 - 12:13 am
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That radical belief is clear in a phone message Rachel left you, Cindy, with instructions on how to speak to the press:

Please think about your language when you talk to them. I think it was smart that you’re wary of using the word “terrorism,” and if you talk about the cycle of violence, or “an eye for an eye,” you could be perpetuating the idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a balanced conflict, instead of a largely unarmed people against the fourth most powerful military in the world.

Rachel spoke those words in 2003 after Israel had buried 1000 civilians killed in Palestinian suicide bomber attacks.

And the third picture is of your earlier visit to the region to see where your daughter lived and died.  You were met and honored by Yasser Arafat:

That is where you should have realized that you daughter was his pawn, another young idealist brainwashed into hating Israel. Arafat regaled in his “shahids,” the suicide bombers who blew up Israeli civilians. The New York Times documented the training of 25,000 Palestinian teens in the summer prior to launching the September 2000 intifada. Your daughter Rachel was another impressionable youth recruited for the Palestinian cause. I’m sure that is hard for you to believe, but read what her ISM buddy Joseph Smith believed:

“We knew there was a risk,” Smith said, “but we also knew it never happened in the two years that we (the ISM) have been working here. I knew we take lots of precautions so that it doesn’t happen, that if it did happen it would have to be an intentional act by a soldier, in which case it would bring a lot of publicity and significance to the cause.”

According to another account:

“Her death serves me more than it served her,” said one activist [unclear if the speaker is an IMS activist or a Hamas activist] at a Hamas funeral. “Going in front of the tanks was heroic. Her death will bring more attention than the other 2,000 martyrs.”

And Corrie herself discussed the possibility of an American activist’s death as a propaganda tool:

You just can’t imagine it unless you see it, and even then you are always well aware that your experience is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli Army would face if they shot an unarmed U.S. citizen.

Finally, who sent your daughter into Gaza? The International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led group, founded in August 2001 by Huwwaida Arraf, Adam Shapiro, Ghassan Andoni, Neta Golan, and George Rishmawi.

In July of 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported:

Rishmawi said the ISM’s main purpose is to increase international awareness of Palestinian suffering through the involvement of foreign activists, who pay their own way to the West Bank, where they are trained in various methods of nonviolent direct action.

“When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore,” Rishmawi said. “But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”

Mr. and Mrs. Corrie, leave Israel with our deep condolences. It may be easier for you to live with the belief that Rachel was an idealistic fighter for peace. Maybe she was, but she was also used as a tool and discarded. ISM actually tried to market her as the “new Anne Frank.” Her life was wasted by a cruel, opportunistic, radical movement for whom the ends justify the means.

Sue them.

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The writer served as a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington. Today he is a consultant on public affairs and blogs at www.lennybendavid.com.
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